News / Middle East

21 Dead in New Syria Violence, Activists Say

Syrian men mourn over the coffin of one of 11 Syrian police officers who were killed in an explosion in the Midan neighborhood, during a mass funeral procession at Al-Hassan mosque, in Damascus, January 7, 2011.
Syrian men mourn over the coffin of one of 11 Syrian police officers who were killed in an explosion in the Midan neighborhood, during a mass funeral procession at Al-Hassan mosque, in Damascus, January 7, 2011.

Syrian activists say at least 21 people were killed Saturday in clashes throughout Syria.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the majority of the deaths occurred in the flashpoint central city of Homs and in the restive Idlib province in the northwest.

The clashes came as thousands of supporters of President Bashar al-Assad joined a funeral ceremony in Damascus for 26 people killed in a bomb attack a day earlier.

The government called the devastating explosion Friday, which also wounded more than 60 people, a "terrorist" attack and accused opposition groups of being behind the killings. It also vowed to "strike back with an iron fist" against the perpetrators.

Syria's information minister, Adnan Mahmoud, described the assault as a reflection of those who are "targeting" the country.

"It also illustrates the bankruptcy and disastrous failure of the tools of this project, on both a logistical and field level, as well as failure on the political level, on mobilizing public opinion in Syria and on the level of the states supporting this kind of project in our area and the western states including the United States of America," Mahmoud said.

But opposition activists deny any involvement in the bombing and have suggested the authorities staged the explosion to create a backlash against those calling for a government removal.

Most of those killed in the attack Friday appeared to be policemen riding on a bus that was shattered by the blast. Syrian state media quoted an Interior Ministry official as asserting that a male suicide bomber triggered the blast in the central Midan district, but few other details were available.

Opposition activists said the Syrian regime's crackdown on protesters continued in several parts of the country late Friday in which 17 civilians were killed.  

Arab League ministers are to meet in Cairo Sunday to review the work of an observer mission the league has sent to Syria two weeks ago.  The observers were tasked with finding out whether the Assad government has lived up to its pledge that its long-running crackdown on civilian protesters was at an end.  

Mr. Assad has pledged to witdraw security forces from cities, release political prisoners and allow anti-government protests.  Government reports of mass prisoner releases have not been verified, in part because almost all foreign journalists are barred from access to the country.

A global, online activist group that supports "people-power" movements worldwide, Avaaz, says nearly 7,000 people were killed since March 2011, when the Syrian unrest began.  Avaaz says its casualty count was confirmed through contacts with multiple sources in Syria.

The United Nations estimates 5,000 people have been killed in Syria, while the Damascus government accuses armed terrorists of driving the revolt and killing 2,000 security personnel.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs